The Chicago Cubs rolled into San Diego for a three game set on the heels of dropping three of four in San Francisco and proceeded to drop yet another on this West Coast trip, losing 9-4 to the Padres.
If you had told David Ross that Cubs pitching would hold Fernando Tatis Jr. to an 0-for-5 night, he probably would have liked his chances. Alas, the Padres didn’t need their superstar shortstop as the rest of the offense picked up the slack by pouring nine runs on the Cubs, including five on the usually leakproof bullpen.
You could tell early on that this might not be the Cubs’ night when Willson Contreras was punched out looking to start the game and the nuclear Patrick Wisdom somehow didn’t hit a home run in his first at bat, settling for a strikeout to end the top of the 1st. That and the fact that Adbert Alzolay, who had been on a nice run of solid performances, just didn’t have his usual command over three rough innings.
Alzolay miraculously only gave up single runs in the 1st and 2nd innings despite flirting with lots of traffic and plenty of danger in each, then gave up two in the 3rd when Brian O’Grady hit a bomb to make things 4-0 Padres.
The Cubs answered with three runs in the top of the 4th as Padres’ starting pitcher Ryan Weathers made an ill-advised throw to first after Jake Marisnick “laid down” a perfect swinging bunt. The Cubs got one on the soft single, then another on the error by Weathers when the ball got away. Sergio Alcántara then hit a sac fly to make the score 4-3, but the Cubs would get no closer than that as the Padres tacked on two more in the 6th and three in the 8th.
Why the Cubs Lost
Alzolay wasn’t his dominant self of late, struggling with command and laboring through just three innings.
Even after a couple rough innings to start the game, you could have seen Alzolay righting the ship and keeping the Cubs close. Unfortunately, O’Grady’s home run seemed like a dagger in the 3rd.
Stats That Matter
- Anthony Rizzo may have just gotten off the schneid with a 2-for-4 performance that included a run scored.
- The Cubs bullpen gave up five runs in five innings, although only three were actually earned.
- Alzolay had his worst start of the season with the following line: 3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 4 K.
The Cubs’ struggles in California continued and they’ll need better and deeper starting pitching to get things back on track. If you’re looking for a silver lining, perhaps it’s a good thing that Tatis Jr. did absolutely nothing in the game.